Tougher Sentencing Doesn't Necessarily Mean Safer Streets.

July 15, 2013

"A generation of [being] tough on crime hasn't resulted in us being any safer than we were 20 years ago."

State Rep. Joe Haveman (R-Holland), Chairman of the Michigan House Appropriations Committee.

It’s unlikely that any politician has lost an election running on a “tough on crime” platform. 15 years ago, Michigan enacted stricter sentencing guidelines for most criminals. The result: inmates in state prisons spend a lot more time behind bars than the national average, and Michigan spends almost a half-billion dollars more every year to keep them there. Now some lawmakers are looking at reforming the sentencing system--not just to save money--but to ensure the punishment fits the crime. State Representative Joe Haveman chairs the House Appropriations Committee. WDET’s Pat Batcheller asked him where the push for reform is coming from. Click on the audio link above to hear the conversation.

Want to learn more about this issue? Read the research from the Pew Charitable Trusts here